Would you like to know where the phrase “hocus pocus” came from? It sounds Latin. Well, it is derived from a Latin phrase, but you’ll be shocked when you hear/read the truth. Holy Communion or the celebration of the Eucharist, is celebrated weekly (sometimes daily) by most Christian churches. Growing up Catholic, we went to Mass once a week on Sundays or on a rare occasion we went on Saturday night. After I made my first communion, I could partake. I had to go to confession the day before so I was eligible to take communion.
As a kid, I always wondered why my mom never went up to get communion or go to confession. She always took me to confession, but she never did it herself. I found out after my dad passed away. All of a sudden mom started going to church every day. This was in Puerto Rico. She told me that since she and my dad were both divorced before they married (not in a Catholic church) and had me, that she was not allowed to receive communion. Now that my dad had died, all of a sudden, she could partake again. That made me mad. She was the same person! The only difference was that she was now a widow. By the way, that was also the reason I was not accepted into Catholic school in the Bronx — I was a “bastard” child because my parents were previously divorced, married outside the Catholic church, then had me. I actually remember being in the nun’s office and her saying that. I had no idea what it meant except that I ended up starting 1st grade in public school. (Thank God!)
Holy Communion – the Eucharist
The Book of Acts tells of the new believers…
46 They worshiped together at the Temple each day, met in homes for the Lord’s Supper, and shared their meals with great joy and generosity— 47 all the while praising God and enjoying the goodwill of all the people. And each day the Lord added to their fellowship those who were being saved.Acts 2:46-47 NLT
The Apostle Paul wrote to the church in Corinth about sharing in the Lord’s Supper…
23 For I pass on to you what I received from the Lord himself. On the night when he was betrayed, the Lord Jesus took some bread 24 and gave thanks to God for it. Then he broke it in pieces and said, “This is my body, which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me.” 25 In the same way, he took the cup of wine after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant between God and his people—an agreement confirmed with my blood. Do this in remembrance of me as often as you drink it.” 26 For every time you eat this bread and drink this cup, you are announcing the Lord’s death until he comes again.
27 So anyone who eats this bread or drinks this cup of the Lord unworthily is guilty of sinning against the body and blood of the Lord. 28 That is why you should examine yourself before eating the bread and drinking the cup. 29 For if you eat the bread or drink the cup without honoring the body of Christ, you are eating and drinking God’s judgment upon yourself. 30 That is why many of you are weak and sick and some have even died.
31 But if we would examine ourselves, we would not be judged by God in this way. 32 Yet when we are judged by the Lord, we are being disciplined so that we will not be condemned along with the world.
33 So, my dear brothers and sisters, when you gather for the Lord’s Supper, wait for each other. 34 If you are really hungry, eat at home so you won’t bring judgment upon yourselves when you meet together.1 Corinthians 11: 23-34 NLT
Just Bread and Wine, Right?
Technically, yes. The “elements” — the bread and the wine were symbolic of Jesus’ body and blood. First, Jews were never allowed to drink blood. Jesus saying that the wine was His blood shed for us was symbolic. It did shake the apostles up, but they really understood the significance of what Jesus did at the Last Supper when they saw Him on the cross.
Way back in the days of Christian persecution by the Romans, the Romans thought the Christians were cannibals because they ate the “body of Christ” and “drank His blood”. With that in mind, we continue with church history…
c. 248 – 258 AD – Cyprian, bishop of Carthage wrote…
If Christ Jesus our Lord and God is himself the high priest of God the Father and first offered himself as a sacrifice to the Father, and commanded this to be done in remembrance of himself, then assuredly the priest acts truly in Christ’s room, when he imitates what Christ did, and he offers then a true and complete sacrifice to God the Father, if he so begin to offer as he sees Christ himself has offered.Documents of the Christian Church (Amazon Link), 1999, 3rd edition, Edited by Henry Bettenson and Chris Maunder, p. 83-84.
This idea was later developed into the notion of transubstantiation. What they are doing is sacrificing Jesus over and over again when He died once and for all when He, on the cross said, “It is finished!”
c. 397-426 Augustine of Hippo
Augustine upheld the early Christian understanding of the real presence of Christ in the Eucharist, saying that Christ’s statement, “This is my body” referred to the bread he carried in his hands, and that Christians must have faith the bread and wine are in fact the body and blood of Christ, despite what they see with their eyes. For instance he stated that “He [Jesus] walked here in the same flesh, and gave us the same flesh to be eaten unto salvation. But no one eats that flesh unless first he adores it; and thus it is discovered how such a footstool of the Lord’s feet is adored; and not only do we not sin by adoring, we do sin by not adoring.”Wikipedia
Magic, Witchcraft and Paganism
So, here it starts. I opened this article with the question where did we get the phrase “hocus pocus” from? Well, the Catholic Mass was celebrated in Latin. Which makes sense as that was one of the main languages of the Roman Empire (besides Greek). When the priest holds up the bread he says, “hoc est enim corpus meum, ‘for this is my body,'” an incantation to turn the bread into the body of Christ. “Corpus” means body”. Get that? So the phrase eventually became “hocus pocus” what magicians say when they’re doing a magic trick! Then we may have the word “hoax” derived from “hocus”. Hmmm….. Something to think about.
The whole concept is witchcraft and magic! John told us in the Book of Revelation…
Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the old heaven and the old earth had disappeared. And the sea was also gone. 2 And I saw the holy city, the new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven like a bride beautifully dressed for her husband.
3 I heard a loud shout from the throne, saying, “Look, God’s home is now among his people! He will live with them, and they will be his people. God himself will be with them. 4 He will wipe every tear from their eyes, and there will be no more death or sorrow or crying or pain. All these things are gone forever.”
5 And the one sitting on the throne said, “Look, I am making everything new!” And then he said to me, “Write this down, for what I tell you is trustworthy and true.” 6 And he also said, “It is finished! I am the Alpha and the Omega—the Beginning and the End. To all who are thirsty I will give freely from the springs of the water of life. 7 All who are victorious will inherit all these blessings, and I will be their God, and they will be my children.
8 “But cowards, unbelievers, the corrupt, murderers, the immoral, those who practice witchcraft, idol worshipers, and all liars—their fate is in the fiery lake of burning sulfur. This is the second death.”Revelation 21:1-8 NLT
God doesn’t like magic or witchcraft or idol worshipers and all liars. That just about throws the bulk of Roman Catholic Church leaders into the fiery lake of burning sulfur, doesn’t it? Yes, it’s the truth.
However, it’s not too late.
9 The Lord isn’t really being slow about his promise, as some people think. No, he is being patient for your sake. He does not want anyone to be destroyed, but wants everyone to repent. 10 But the day of the Lord will come as unexpectedly as a thief. Then the heavens will pass away with a terrible noise, and the very elements themselves will disappear in fire, and the earth and everything on it will be found to deserve judgment.2 Peter 3:9-10 NLT
Jesus doesn’t want anyone to be destroyed or perish. He wants everyone to repent. But to repent one has to realize that they are sinning! If what you’re doing doesn’t seem sinful to you, you will keep doing what you’re doing and then wonder why you were left behind at the Rapture. That’s when all the born-again Christian believers get snatched up by Jesus. We are living in the End Times and Jesus can come back any day now. Are you ready?
If you’re not sure if you’re saved or not, if you truly want to be born again and have the assurance of salvation, receive the Holy Spirit, and get a 1-way, non-stop ticket to Heaven and that you won’t be left behind at the Rapture, this is what you have to do…
Believe. Repent. Be Baptized. Receive the Holy Spirit.
Pray this prayer humbly and wholeheartedly…
“Dear Lord Jesus, I know I am a sinner. I believe You died for my sins. Please forgive me. Right now, I turn from my sins and open the door of my heart and my life to you. I confess You as my personal Lord and Savior. I surrender my whole life to you and I will follow you for the rest of my life. Thank You, Jesus, for saving me. In Jesus’ name, Amen.”
Next Steps in Your New Walk with Jesus…
- Start reading the Bible daily. If you don’t have one, I recommend the YouVersion, Bible.app and Through the Word app — both are free and have a lot of great daily devotionals and Bible studies.
- Pray every day. Talk to God. Ask the Holy Spirit to guide you daily.
- Find and join a Bible-believing church — preferably a non-denominational one and be baptized!
Soli Deo Gloria — To God Alone Be the Glory!